Strategizing – a skill worth acquiring

How many of us have estimated the importance of having right strategies in execution of tasks and in meeting targets? If not, it is worth considering now.

Almost all of us in this busy world are extremely good at working hard to meet targets. In fact working hard has become a norm and will hardly give you the full advantage if you want to compete.

During many occasions we have also heard experienced people saying “Not just work hard, work smart as well”. What does this mean? Let’s try to understand.

The client expectations and our ambitions to set new bench mark on client delight is practically unlimited, but our time, resources, capabilities are always limited to its availability.Hence there will always be a disparity in meeting both at the same point.

The most common scenario is where; we either compromise on the quality to meet the timelines or to extent the timelines to achieve a desired quality. Both have its own impact on client delight. So, how to tackle this? The only solution is to have right strategy of execution right from the beginning and meet both quality and timeline without compromises.

To say it simple, strategizing is all about knowing how to cut down the ‘H’ number of hours required (in normal scenario)in achieving a task to say ‘H/X’ number of hours without compromising on quality.

The ‘HOW to achieve’ part of any task takes prominence and a smart way is formulated. While this is mostly left to the person who strategize, there are some basic guidelines that might help to set the route correct from the beginning.

1. Never plunge in to an available solution and start working on the tasks without you personally getting convinced on the solution –This will ensure the solution is fundamentally strong
2. Invest a decent amount of time in the beginning of a task for only strategizing the right way of resolution – This will save a lot of execution time eventually.
3. Take a stock of the time resource and effort – This will help you to ensure the expectation is set right from the beginning at all levels
4. Juggle around with your mind/notepad with all permutation and combination of assigning right work to right set of people – This will set the right kind of delegation and help gain confidence on your own solution
5. Prepare your excel with the charts to collect data while executing the tasks – This will reiterate that every step is rightly supported with facts and figures
6. Always analyse your data throughout your execution phase – This will help you to re-strategize during execution phase
7. Change your strategy based on how the delivery progress – Very important as same solution from beginning might not hold good throughout the delivery
8. Set priorities for deliverables and emphasise completion of tasks based on the priority of client importance – Very important to reach end result of attaining client delight
9. Phase out the delivery as required and keep client informed of the different phases and corresponding deliverables well in advance –This will even out stress and ensure quality at every stage
10. After every phase of delivery, send a consolidated closure mail with achievements of that phase along with what is due for next phase – This will demonstrate your professionalism to client in standing throughout the delivery phase.
11. Complete each phase with at most care there by leading your delivery to an end to end success – This will ensure a perfect delivery and give you enough confidence for you to take up bigger tasks

The basic rule while defining strategy is that, you never know how to tweak your initial strategy unless you start executing the same. So the key is to start the execution once you have a decent confidence on the initial strategy.

Having set the initial strategy, while executing it, an entropy creeps in to it by way of many non-value add and time taking sub tasks. The primary focus should then be on identifying and isolating them.

This will highly improve the efficiency, cutting down the time required to do the job there by achieving our ‘H/X’ hours target. Once you master this art, you can start defining the denominator in your terms. To start with, half of the normal time required (H/2) should be a good start.

The key is to have right strategy to begin with and then redefine the strategy throughout the delivery phase till the closure phase is signed off by the client.
So let us start by challenging ourselves that we will finish a task in half time. Bet me with right strategy, this will be a cake walk for you and treat for your team .